By Sasha Steinberg
On a foggy Saturday evening, Santa Barbara’s Jon Woodcock (4-1) and Sam Odom combined to strike out twelve batters while only giving up one earned run as the ‘Sters cruised past the Pacific Union Financial (PUF) Capitalists 6-1 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. Woodcock earned his California Coastal League (CCL) leading fourth win of the season while striking out seven through five full innings of work. His seven K’s propels him to third place in strikeouts (42) in the CCL.
The ‘Sters improve to 26-6 in league play and have now won the first two games in the current three game home stand against the PUF Capitalists. Santa Barbara has completely dominated the Cap’s, outscoring them 9-1 in two games.
After being shut out yesterday, the Cap’s jumped out to an early lead. The only Capitalist’s run of the game came in the first inning when Nathan Rodriguez drilled a hard line drive single to left scoring Cal Stevenson from second giving the PUF a 1-0 lead. From that point on Forester’s pitching would go on to shut down the Cap’s for the rest of the game.
The Capitalists lead was short lived as in the bottom half of the inning, the ‘Sters quickly responded and didn’t look back. After a strike out by Colt Atwood, Steven Reveles and Ford Stainback walked back to back before converting on a double steal while getting help from the Capitalists’ catcher Nathan Rodgriuez.
Rodriguez threw the ball down to second but nobody was home as the ball dribbled into center field allowing Reveles to score. The next batter Jeremy Montalbano whacked a line drive up the middle scoring Stainback from second and putting the ‘Sters up 2-1.
Woodcock ran into some trouble in the second giving up a single and then two walks with two outs loading the bases for the Cap’s. However, Woodcock was able to get himself out of the jam by forcing the Capitalists’ best hitter Matt McLaughlin to ground out to second to end the inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, Stainback extended his hitting streak to nine games with a smash to center almost 400 feet for a stand up triple, his first of the season. The next batter knocked him home thanks to a fielding error by shortstop Tristan Gray increasing the Foresters’ lead to 3-1.
The ‘Sters poured it on in the fourth breaking the game wide open, scoring three more runs on three hits. Jake Vickerson led off the inning with a bunt single followed by a smoking line drive up the middle by A.J. Balta to put men on first and second for Santa Barbara.
The next batter A.J. Kennedy attempted to simply move the runners over but ended up getting a lot more finding himself on third base as a throwing error by the third baseman Jordan Pearce allowed Vickerson and Balta to score. After a pitching change for the Capitalists, Michael Rodgers forced Troy Cruz to ground out to third base scoring Kennedy, putting the ‘Sters up 6-1.
Odom came into relieve Woodcock for the ‘Sters in the sixth and pitched three flawless innings striking out five batters and giving up no walks and no runs. Matt Withrow came in to pitch the ninth sealing the deal for the ‘Sters as they won their 26th CCL victory and 31st overall.
The EP Player of the Game honors go to Jon Woodcock for his impressive outing and to Stainback for staying on fire at the plate.
Stainback continued his hot hitting going two for three and scored two runs for the ‘Sters. He has recorded at least two hits in four of his last five games. His hot hitting streak has catapulted him to second place in the CCL in batting average (.397).
The ‘Sters will try to continue their pristine pitching while attempting to complete the sweep against the Capitalists tomorrow afternoon at home. Start time is at 1:00pm.